Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

iPods games vs manipulatives

Although I think the iPods are great tools for the kindergartners when working on different number concepts, I was able  to branch away from the iPods this week when working with both classes. Compared to previous observations made in regards to their number sense, I was able to understand a whole lot more of the strategies the students were using, how they came up with the answer they did, and what they were specifically struggling with. For example, we played a game were the students would role two dice, add up the sum, and then that number was where they could place their chip on the game board. Only a couple students could instantly say the sum of the two numbers. Many of the students counted each individual dot on the dice to arrive at their answer. For those students, I tried modeling how I would go about adding the two numbers.  I challenged some students to work on counting on by identifying the bigger number of the two and then, for example if that number is 5, then starting from five and counting on. After several times of repeating this, many students started adding this way. Because the students were demonstrating their strategy right in front of me, I was able to recognize his or her thought process and how to better help that student achieve the right answer. When I used an iPod game this week, instead of giving the students their own iPod and just observing what they did, I used one iPod between two students who were struggling with problem solving, and I used the word problem game and had the students draw the problem out on a piece of paper and then solve. This again allowed me to see the students’ thought process and help them at different steps in solving the problem if they were struggling at a particular step. If I just handed the iPods off to the two students and they just clicked on their answer and got the answer wrong, I would not necessarily know how to help them because I could not see what they were thinking or what part of the word problem they did non understand. Also, many students don’t like when I peer over their shoulder or try to ask how they arrived at their answer when they are using the iPod games. This  thought relates to our possible idea for our question to study in regards to the differences in using technology or manipulatives to teach students and is one of them a better option.

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